Betel-nut is also known as areca nut or paan. Betel nut is a stimulant drug, which means it speeds up the messages travelling between the brain and the body.Betel nuts are traditionally wrapped in leaves with a limestone paste and chewed, much like tobacco and these nuts are also used in a similar manner as caffeine. They have a sweet and spicy taste. The nut is a mild stimulant, which causes a sense of alertness, and is used in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine for purifying treatments
The top benefits of betel nut include its impact on alertness, energy levels, euphoria, salivation, and stamina.
Chewing betel nut is used to stimulate appetite and increase saliva flow for digestion.
Increase Energy Levels
Betel nut is used as a stimulant for increasing alertness and stamina and giving the user a sense of well-being and euphoria. It has also been used as a stimulant for libido and to alleviate symptoms of excessive heat.
Betel nut is known for treating eye disorders like glaucoma
Detoxify the Body
Betel-nut is used as a treatment to remove parasites and kill worms.it is often used as a detoxifier. Betel-nut is also used to treat bad breath and prevent phlegm and has the ability to stimulate gastrointestinal activity, helping with flatulence or constipation. . It is often chewed before travelling to prevent nausea.
It help stroke victims recover by helping improve speech, bladder function, and strength.
Betel nut is also known to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia, though this does come with some side effects.
Betel nut helps to prevent dry-mouth. It have antibacterial qualities, which have led the extracts to be used as an ingredient in oral healthcare products. It is thought to help keep gums and teeth strong, and prevent cavities.
Balancing the Blood
Betel nut boost iron levels thus, treating anemia. It also controls diabetes as they regulate blood glucose levels and lower high blood pressure.
Mood and Anxiety
Betel nuts are also used to treat depression by decreasing cortisol levels, which is known for increasing stress.
Betelnut can be eaten at any time of day. It goes well with every food item.
How is it used?
The seed is separated from the outer layer of the fruit and may be used fresh, dried, boiled, baked, roasted or cured.
Uses of betelnut
Betel nut is commonly used as a mouth-freshner.
Tannins in arecanut were being used for dyeing clothes and ropes and also used for tanning leather. It can be used as an adhesive in plyboard manufacture. Another possible use of areca tannins is as a safe food coloring agent.
How to buy and store betelnut
If they are fresh. best to keep them like that and use them soon. If dry, don’t worry about it and store them in a jar willy-nilly, nothing can hurt a dried betel nut
How to make Paan modak
- 1 cup+ 1 tbsp desiccated coconut
- 1/2 cup condensed milk
- 4 Paan leaves(betel leaves)
- 4-5 tsp gulkand
- 1 tbsp dry fruits powder
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds powder
- 2 tbsp tutti frutti
- 1 tsp ghee
- Pinch green food colour (optional)
- To a food processor or mixer jar add
2 chopped paan leaves and condensed milk.
- Pulse well till both are mixed
- Finely chop the remaining 2 paan
leaves and mix in the above mixture.
- Keep aside.
- Heat ghee in a pan on medium flame.
- Once hot add dessicated coconut and
roast for 2 to 3 minutes on low flame.
- Stir continuously to avoid sticking
and change in colour.
- Add condensed milk and paan mixture
to the pan and mix well.
- You can add green food colour at
this moment to enhance the colour.
- Mix well.
- Cool the mixture for some time on
- Stuffing : Mix together gulkand, dry
fruits powder, fennel seeds powder and tuti fruti.
- Grease your hands with little ghee,
take a small portion from the coconut mixture.
- Roll them into a ladoo and fill this
in the modak mold.
- Press the ladoo in such a way to
make a cavity in the centre where in you can stuff the gulkand mixture.
- Cover the mold with some paan
mixture to seal the cavity.
- Now slowly open the mold.
- Similarly make all the modaks.
- You can roll the modak in the
dessicated coconut before serving (optional).
How to make Kongunadu Style Vetrilai Sadam Recipe – Betel Leaves Rice
- 5 Betel leaves (paan)
- 2 cups Cooked rice
- 10 cloves Garlic, crushed
- 2 teaspoons Cooking oil
- 1 teaspoon Mustard seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon Chana dal (Bengal Gram Dal)
- 1/2 teaspoon White Urad Dal (Split)
- 1 sprig Curry leaves
- 1/4 cup Roasted Peanuts (Moongphali)
- 10 Cashew nuts
- 4 Fresh Red chillies, chopped
- Salt, as required
- For the Masala
- 1 tablespoon Cumin seeds (Jeera)
- 1 tablespoon Fennel seeds (Saunf)
- 1 teaspoon Whole Black Peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons Sesame seeds (Til seeds)
- 1 sprig Curry leaves
- To begin making Kongunadu Style Vetrilai Sadam Recipe, wash and cook rice adding just sufficient water so that the rice is not sticky and the grains are cooked yet separate. You can also use leftover rice for preparing this.
- Next, we will prepare the masala for the rice.
- Dry roast Cumin seeds, Fennel seeds, Pepper seeds and Sesame seeds until golden.Add the curry leaves and roast for another minute. Allow it to cool completely and grind into a coarse powder.
- Heat a Kadai with oil, add mustard seeds, chana dal and Urad dal. Once the dals turn golden brown add curry leaves, chopped red chillies, peanuts and cashews.
- Saute until the cashews and peanuts turn golden color. Add crushed garlic and saute until raw smell goes away. Tear the betel leaves roughly and add it to the pan and saute until the leaves shrink.
- Now add the ground masala powder and stir all ingredients well for a minute. Turn off the heat and add cooked rice along with required salt.
- Toss and mix well until everything is combined. Check for salt and serve Kongunadu Style Vetrilai Sadam hot.
- Serve Vetrilai Sadam or Betel Nut Leaves Sadam along with Tomato Cucumber Raita and Masala Vadai for a wonderful Sunday lunch
Safety profile for using betelnut
Side effects of consuming betel nut can be
- Mild euphoria and feelings of wellbeing
- Feeling alert
- Fast heart rate and palpitations
- High blood pressure
- Red face and feeling warm
Eating betel leaves for the first time and taking it after a long time can show some side effects
- Upset stomach, diarrhoea, vomiting
Regular, heavy use of betel nut may eventually cause:
- Discolouration of teeth and gums, sometimes turning them reddish-brown
- Mouth ulcers and gum disease
- Oral cancers or submucous fibrosis (a precancerous condition)
- Stomach ulcer
- Heart disease
- Needing to use more to get the same effect
- Dependence on betel nut
- Financial, work and social problems
Fun facts about betel nut
- Betel nut is the seed of a type of palm tree. It grows in the tropical Pacific, South Asia, and parts of east Africa.
- The areca nut palm produces the common chewing nut which is popularly known as betel nut or supari. India is the largest producer and consumer of betel nut in the World.
- The areca nut is not a true nut, but rather is a fruit (drupe). It is commercially available in dried form.
- The nut is soft enough to be cut with a typical knife, when the husk of the fruit is green. As the fruit ripens, the husk becomes yellow or orange. After it dries, the fruit inside hardens to a wood-like nut which can be sliced using a special scissors-like cutter.
- The areca nut contains the tannins gallic acid; a fixed oil gum; and alkaloids.Betel nut act as energy booster due to the presence of alkaloids (adrenaline).